Things to Consider When Buying a Property in Need of Renovation


Home renovations are often some of the most rewarding, profit-earning ways for someone to get on the property ladder (and we would know, as some of the properties we sell certainly fall into the ‘fixer upper’ category). Whilst this might be the case, what a lot of people will fail to mention when discussing a home renovation is the amount of organisation, hard work and stress associated with taking on such projects.

So, what should you take into consideration when thinking about buying a property in need of renovation? We’ve put together this short ‘renovation guide’ to help out anyone who finds themselves in this position, make sure you have a read of this before making your ultimate decision.

How capable are you when it comes to DIY?

You may have once helped to paint your brother’s living room, or even assembled some flat-pack furniture with zero help – but would you be able to fit some new windows, or tile a bathroom? Think about this question honestly and factor the answer into your overall budget. It’s all well and good attempting to plumb your own toilet until it breaks shortly after you’ve finished, leaving you with nothing more than a huge plumbing bill and a whole lot of wasted time.

Are the issues that need resolving doable? Or insurmountable?

Going into the project you would’ve known from the outset that the property needs work, but are you aware of how much work exactly? For example, an old building will often require a complete rewire after a period of no electrical safety inspections – have you factored this into your budget? Another point to note is that subsidence issues (often more common in older properties with shallower foundations) can make getting buildings insurance more difficult.

Planning permission

Whilst true that most smaller renovations won’t now require planning approval, you’re always best to clarify whether or not this is the case before agreeing to buy a property. Those of you purchasing a bigger property (certainly if a listed building) will need to get consent from the local authorities – councils can take up to 12 weeks to make their decision, so make sure to plan accordingly.

Unexpected extras

We’ve touched on a couple of potential dangers already, but it’s important to make sure that your budget as well as your expectations are realistic. People will commonly set a budget for their project before proceeding to spend twice that amount due to unwanted extra costs, which is why we’d recommend you allocate an extra 20-25% of budget to cover for anything like this happening.

Do you have time for a renovation?

Two years of blood, sweat and tears later and you’ve come to the realisation that there’s still half a property to fix before moving in day. Renovations are known to rumble on much longer than expected, so it’s vital that you seek out advice of professional tradesmen to align expectations before committing to anything. If you need to move into a house in two weeks, then you should be able to say with some confidence that a renovation project probably isn’t right for you.

We hope that this article serves as an advice piece to help guide you on the beginning of your project rather than something that discourages you from wanting to renovate. Whilst true that there are a lot of considerations to take into account, there’s nothing like living or working somewhere which has been completely shaped in your image, exactly the way you want it! If you’d like to discuss any queries you may have regarding a property or renovation, please contact our team today.

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